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A Rome Redeux


Babus Maximus!


"Five thousand of my bears are out there in the freezing mud. Three thousand of them are bloodied and cleaved. Two thousand will never leave this place. I will not believe they fought and died for nothing!"

--Boomus Maximus, Gladiator

Alright, Minyans, this is where the wagon wheel meets the sand. The ursine uglies have had ample time to dig the dagger deeper but the intense battle continues to rage on. While we (humbly) dusted off the fur earlier, concerns remain for Boo's crew. There are a lot of compelling charts out there, the momentum is to the upside (until proven otherwise) and there are structural underpinnings. What's a Minyan to do?

The first question you've gotta ask yourself is: do you feel lucky? No..that's not right. The first question you must address is one of time horizon. Are you trading for the day, for a catalyst or for a thesis? More importantly, does your risk profile mimic the length and style of your approach? It serves no purpose to be right on the direction if you're not around to see the fruits of our labor.

I tend to have all three types of trades on and do my best to adequately communicate a view. For instance, I've got day trades on (QQQ), thesis positions tucked away (Fannie Mae (FNM:NYSE)), and catalyst driven ideas (Cisco (CSCO:NASD)). Together, they form my book and an aggregate risk profile with which to trade. During a session if I "see" or "hear" something, I will augment my shorter term vehicles to reflect those inputs.

I share this as we're about to embark on the sleepless adventure known as earning's season. I've been talking to my cronies--not carnies, cronies--and we've been juxtaposing expectations, field position and other relevant metrics. On the one hoof, we have jiggy looking charts and more liquidity than The Water Boy. On the other paw, we have....well, reality. I am trying to synthesize all of this information and filter out any potential edges.

Net/net? My thesis and catalyst driven ideas are defined risk (options) and will remain on my sheets overnight. The lion's share of my meaty directional risk--when it's on--is being initiated (and removed) intraday. It's a balance that keeps me "set up" but not stretched out. It's also why I sometimes struggle with the costumes as my exposure varies as a function of time and price.

As for the rest of the day, the "can't get 'em down" herd and "can't get it up" crew are diggin' in for the close. Yesterday, a flurry of seven figure prints (buyers) bum rushed the close and sparked the squeeze. If it happens again, I've got my stop levels (set above) and, if not, I'll likely pick a bit into the close anyway. We've got Yahoo! (YHOO:NASD) tonight and as I don't have a relative edge, I don't want to toin coss.

Fare ye well into the close.
position in qqq, fnm, csco

Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at

The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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